Church Gunman Left Online Rant Between Shootings

Murray's Writings Echo Columbine Gunman's Manifesto

Web site postings that authorities believe were the work of shooter Matthew Murray paint a picture of a young man angry at his religious home-schooling, enraged with organized religion and furious with Youth With A Mission.

His rage explodes in a posting that appeared to have been made between the shootings in Arvada and Colorado Springs on Sunday, saying, "You christians brought this on yourselves ... I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. .... God, I can't wait till I can kill you people."

Murray, who police said shot and killed two people at the missionary center and two people at the megachurch, copied from the manifesto of Columbine High School shooter Eric Harris in his post on a site for ex-Pentecostals.

"Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don't care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."

The rant was posted at 11:03 a.m. -- about 10 hours after the first shooting at the Youth With A Mission and two hours before the shooting at New Life Church. It was posted by "nghtmrchld26, " whom authorities believe was Murray.

The only change of substance Murray made to Harris's writings was to replace the name of Harris target, classmate and neighbor Brooks Brown, with "Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."

This is the rest of that posting from Sunday afternoon:

    "Well all you people out there can just kiss my a** and die. From now on I don't give a @#%$ about what you mutha f____ have to say, unless I respect you which is highly unlikely, but for those of you who do happen to know me and know that I respect you, may peace be with you and don't be in my line of fire, for the rest of you, you all better @#%$ hide in your houses because I'm coming for EVERYONE soon.

    "No I am not crazy, crazy is just a word, to me it has no meaning, everyone is different, but most of you @#%$ heads there in society, going to your everyday @#%$ jobs and doing everyday routine shi____y things, I say @#%$ you and die ....

    "DEAD PEOPLE DON'T ARGUE. My belief is that if I say something, it goes. I am the law ... Dead people can't do many things like argue, whine, @#%$, complain, name, rat out, criticize, or even @#%$ talk. So that's the only way to solve argument with all you f__heads out there, I just kill. God, I can't wait till I can kill you people, I'll just go to some downtown area in some big city and blow up and shoot everything I can.

    "You break my back but you won't break me ... all is black but I still see...shut me down, knock me to the floor... shoot me up, @#%$ me like a whore, trapped under ice, comfortably cold, I've gone as low as you can go ... feel no remorse, no sorrow or shame .... time's gonna wash away all pain I made a God out of blood not superiority I killed the king of deceit and now I sleep in anarchy."

The last part of that posting is from the song "Anarchy" by rock band KMFDM. It is the same lyrics that Columbine gunman Harris had posted.

Before that last post, he had written a post saying goodbye to everyone in the forum, thanking them for listening to him.

"You guys were awesome. It's time for me to head out and teach these ******* a lesson ... See you all on the other side, we're leaving this nightmare behind to a better place," he wrote.

At least one visitor to the site was alarmed and contacted the FBI promptly, before the second attack, the site's administrator said. But the FBI would not immediately confirm that.

Denver FBI spokeswoman Rene Vonder Haar said the agency began an investigation immediately after receiving a phone call at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. She refused to discuss the nature of the call but said the information was passed on to police in Arvada and Colorado Springs.

Posts Show Murray's Anger At Christianity, Homeschooling

In the weeks before the shooting, nghtmrchld26 posted a number of messages about his own pain, despair and fury toward Christianity.

In another posting on Dec. 1, on the expentacostal.org Web site, nghtmrchld26 posted wrote about the "insane things" he went through in Christian homeschool.

    "I remember the beatings and the fighting and yelling and insane rules and the Bill Gothard bull**** and then trancing out ... I remember how it was like every day was Mission Impossible trying to keep the rules or not get caught. My mother's a f***ing psycho too, her and her whole church and Christian family.

    "We both went through some insane stuff growing up in The Nightmare that outsiders just do not understand.

    "Of course people will say the usual fake answers 'just stop being this way and be happy from now on ...' 'We don't have the time and the energy to give a s*** about you ...''You're not the only one who has it bad' 'I had it a lot worse than you and I'm happy and doing great' 'You're not popular you know ... no one likes you very much.'

    "'It's almost like you've come back from a war and are having flashbacks.'" ONE MORE, just ONE MORE bit of psychological abuse from your mother and you WALK, you are OUT THAT DOOR saying,'I won't live like this anymore EVER.'

    "I'm not getting any younger and it's time for the abuse to stop. Just because I'm no one of the "Beautiful People" just because other people don't understand or because I'm not popular does not mean I need to take any more s*** from anyone."

He ends that post with "Cherish Your Life."

Nghtmrchld26 had been posting to the site for at least 11 months, ranting against conservative religious organizations.

"The way I see it, why should we allow some Pentecostal charlatan "prophet," or church or group such as C. Peter Wagner or YWAM/King's Kids Denver or other self-appointed "source of Truth" like Bill Gothard to dictate who's going to hell and who's not and who's accepted and who's out casted?," he wrote Oct. 6. "I remember growing up in pentecostalism/evangelicalism, we were always told to support republicans/conservatives and to hate those evil satanic democrats. Jesus never said to put trust in any political leaders."

"We'll make our own religion and be our own God's instead listening to some abusive pedophile church like what I was raised in telling us who's 'saved' and who's not," the person wrote.

"During this dark period I've realized this is not the way just to be a martyr. I can't walk alone any longer and I'll fight for the ones who can't fight. If I lose at then least I tried. If I have to give my life you can have it."

The YWAM Connection

One post, called "My YWAM Horror Story," complained about being removed from the Arvada youth mission program.

"Why was I told that I couldn't be a missionary because I wasn't 'social enough'? I was told that I was 'an introvert,"' nghtmrchld26 wrote. "Everyone else got to go on their outreaches except for a few who lied about smoking (cigarettes). The authoritarianism and hypocrisy is outrageous."

People on the discussion board tried to help Murray, but Murray appeared to reject offers of psychological help.

"I've already been working with counselors," he wrote. He added: "I have a point to make with all this talk about psychologists and counselors 'helping people with their pain.' It's so funny how many people want to help you and love you and counsel you and `work with you through your pain' when there's money involved."

Murray also writes that he is deeply moved by rock music from Madonna to Marilyn Manson, calling it his "drug addiction."

"Well, one of the main persons who has helped make this drug a powerful force in my life has been Marilyn Manson," he writes in a Nov. 11 post titled "Secret Addiction."

A former roommate took this photo of Matthew Murray performing in a December 14, 2002, Christmas program.

A picture of Murray, obtained by CNN, shows a pale, scrawny young man, wearing thick glasses and skull cap. The picture was taken by Richard Werner, who was working at the missionary center in Arvada in 2002, when Murray was going through the discipleship program.

Murray Was Thrown Out Of Youth With A Mission

Police said in 2002, Murray had been thrown out of Youth With A Mission, the site of the first shooting where staff members Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, were killed.

Colorado Springs police said the "common denominator in both locations" was Youth With a Mission. The training center maintains an office at the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, the site of the second shooting.

The victims at New Life Church -- sisters Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachel Works, 16 -- were involved with a summer outreach organized by New Life Church and a ministry of YWAM, according to a statement released by Youth With A Mission.

The statement said that Murray was "briefly a student at the YWAM Arvada training centre in 2002."

Murray was enrolled in a Discipleship Training School but did not complete the program, which is a 12-week classroom course followed by a 12-week field assignment.

"Murray did not complete the lecture phase of his Discipleship Training School, nor did he participate in the field assignment," the statement said. "The program directors felt that issues with his health made it inappropriate for him to do so. Murray left the Arvada training center and no one at the facility recalls that he has made any other visits or had any communication with the center since that time."

Several agencies searched Murray's home in unincorporated Arapahoe County, where he lived with his parents, looking for additional weapons and his computer.

In a search warrant affidavit, investigators said Murray attended a home-based computer school and worked at his computer for three to five hours a day for the past two years. Police said Murray's only previous brush with the law was a traffic ticket earlier this year.

Murray died at New Life Church after an exchange of gunfire with volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam.

Assam wounded him with several shots and forced him on the ground. According to the report of the El Paso County coroner, Murray died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, though police and church leaders credited Assam's bravery with averting a greater tragedy.

Assam, an ex-Minneapolis police officer, said her faith allowed her to remain steady under pressure.

"It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God," she said, her hands trembling as she recounted the shooting during a news conference.

Print this article Back to Top